The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans) (1993)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5.  France, 1993.  Ciné Tamaris.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Alexandre Auffort, Stephane Krausz, Patrick Mounoud, Georges Strouve, Agnes Varda.  Music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier.  Cannes Film Festival 1993. It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary…

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West Side Story

BBBB (out of 5) Fantastic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes the tale of star-crossed lovers and sets it as a musical among warring gangs of 1960s New York. Jerome Robbins’ energetic choreography is the main highlight of this colourful film, about a young Puerto Rican girl named Maria (Natalie Wood, with singing…

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There’s No Business Like Show Business

BB.5 (out of 5) The life of a show business family is the subject of this shallow musical. Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey are the parents, while Donald O’Connor and Mitzi Gaynor are the kids, both of whom engage in romantic affairs between splashy numbers.  Marilyn Monroe appears as one of O’Connor’s distractions, and sings the film’s best songs, including…

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Flower Drum Song

BBB (out of 5) The least known of the Rodgers and Hammerstein movie musicals is this charmer that features an all-Asian cast. It centres around a young girl (Miyoshi Umeki) who immigrates illegally with her father from China to San Francisco to marry her arranged fiance (Jack Soo). Soo has a mistress already (Nancy Kwan),…

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

BB.5 (out of 5) Marilyn Monroe established herself as a luminous movie star with this hilarious musical comedy that is all delight and no substance. She and Jane Russell play a couple of beautiful showgirls who board an ocean liner for France where Monroe’s millionaire boyfriend (Tommy Noonan) is meeting them. To ensure her fidelity, Noonan has…

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Brigadoon

BB.5 (out of 5) Gene Kelly and Van Johnson play tourists in the highlands of Scotland who happen upon a mystical village in the middle of enchanted glade, a tiny hamlet that only comes to life for one day every hundred years. Their time spent there is mostly utilized in getting to know the charming locals,…

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The Young Girls Of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles De Rochefort)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Demy follows the success of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another musical. This time the entire dialogue track is not sung, and the format is more like a traditional American musical. Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac (Deneuve’s real-life sister) play music teachers in the beautiful town of Rochefort who are looking for…

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White Christmas

BBB (out of 5) The biggest box-office hit of 1954 was this enjoyable musical romp that rides on the success of the titular Irving Berlin song. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are holed up at a hotel resort with sisters Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen over the holidays. The weak screenplay is mostly an excuse for the many pleasant musical…

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